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Obama denies Indonesian citizenship

Birthers speculate based on the words “Nationality: Indonesian” on a school registration form that Barack Obama was adopted by his step father, Lolo Soetoro, and by an impossible application of Indonesian law, became an Indonesian citizen.

Previously, the US Department of State in the case of Strunk  v. U. S. Department of State denied that Barack Obama was adopted by Soetoro and

To the extent this paragraph alleges that President Obama is not a natural-born citizen of the United States or that President Obama is or ever was a citizen of Indonesia, those allegations are denied. (Page 8)

One might expect the US State Department to know about such things, and I have taken this statement as authoritative; however, one might want to hear this from a source who is definitely in a position to know the details, and one such person is Barack Obama himself. Now we have that in the form of a the August 9 “answer of Barack Obama” in the Kentucky ballot challenge of House v. Obama. Barack Obama, through his attorney, J. Scott Wantland, once and for all denies that he was ever a citizen of Indonesia.

Obama denies ever becoming an Indonesian citizen.

So, rational reader, if you ever wondered about this question, now you know.

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35 Responses to Obama denies Indonesian citizenship

  1. avatar
    Atticus Finch October 1, 2012 at 11:59 am #

    How does a child born in the United States loses his or her citizenship by attending a school in a foreign country?

    Short answer: It doesn’t.

    In terms of Obama’s citizenship status as a United States citizen, a parent can’t by his or her action take away the citizenship of minor who is a natural born citizen of the United States.

    Supreme Court decisions have held that a parent’s conduct can’t cause a child to lose his or her United States citizenship. Perkins v. Elg, 307 U.S. 325 (1939), Mandoli v. Acheson, 344 U.S. 133 (1952)

    Moreover, the information contained in the Indonesia Muslim school registration form doesn’t have any legal significance and does not constitute a minor’s explicitly renouncement of his US citizenship. See Vance v. Terrazas, 444 U.S. 252 (1980) (requirement of preponderance of the evidence that person intent to renounce his citizenship), Afroyim v. Rusk, 387 U.S. 253 (1967)(loss of citizenship required the individual’s assent).

    As such, any information submitted by Obama’s stepfather on the Indonesian school application is legally irrelevant and immaterial. Moreover, a school application form does not constitute a government document for purposes of a nation’s nationality laws. In order to become an Indonesian citizen, a person must subscribe to Indonesia’s nationality laws. An Indonesian school application form is not considered a legal document for purposes of obtaining an Indonesian citizenship.

    In order to become an Indonesian citizen, the person must have met the residency requirement of minimum 5 continuous years or least 10 years of non-continuous basis. In Obama’s case, he lived in Indonesia from 1967 to 1971, which was FOUR YEARS. He then moved to Hawaii in 1971. By the time he was twenty years old in 1981, he had lived in Indonesia for a period of only FOUR YEARS so he clearly did not meet the residency requirement to become an Indonesia citizen.

  2. avatar
    Daniel October 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

    But by denying it, Obama only proves that it’s true….

    Whoops sorry, had a momentary attack of birther there

  3. avatar
    Northland10 October 1, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

    He should show his Certificate of Loss of Nationality to prove he did not lose his citizenship.

    Daniel.. stop spreading your momentary birther attack germs here. See what you did to me.

  4. avatar
    John Potter October 1, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

    But he made a citizenship move.

    What’s that you ask? I’m speculating the logic follows this concept that popped up in football commentary maybe 3 years ago …. that a ball carrier established possession by “making a football move.”.

    Obama went to Indonesia and went to school there. He participated willingly, and assumingly gainfully, in the society of a foreign country. He therefore made a “citizenship move.” He wanted to be an Indonesian. Why else would he be there?

    This also explains why there are no real Americans in the Peace Corps.

    Real Americans can not, by definition, “travel abroad”. Real Americans take America with them. By force.

  5. avatar
    Debbie October 1, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

    Except that Obama’s sister said he was adopted.

  6. avatar
    DP October 1, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

    Real Americans can not, by definition, “travel abroad”. Real Americans take America with them. By force.

    Real Americans would regard the mere idea of living in Indonesia as proof of treason unless you managed to convert the locals to Freedom Fries while you were there.

    The world, and everyone else in it, is merely our backdrop.

  7. avatar
    Thomas Brown October 1, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

    Debbie:
    Except that Obama’s sister said he was adopted.

    Ummm… bull hockey. Never happened.

  8. avatar
    LW October 1, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

    He denies ever becoming one. He does not say he never was one. There is clearly a difference here.

    (Just trying to channel John here. Ow, my brain.)

  9. avatar
    Bob October 1, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

    Debbie,
    You should file a ballot challenge with your evidence. Sounds like a real game changer.

  10. avatar
    Paper October 1, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

    She was talking about the secret adoption of Barack Obama by President & Lady Bird Johnson. All arranged before he left for Indonesia.

    Debbie:
    Except that Obama’s sister said he was adopted.

  11. avatar
    Paper October 1, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

    It’s one of the “zingers” he is preparing.

    Scientist:
    http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/trump-advises-romney-to-ask-birther-question-at

    Oh, please, Mitt, please,,,

  12. avatar
    Majority Will October 1, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

    Scientist: http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/trump-advises-romney-to-ask-birther-question-at

    Mitt’s secret zinger? Oh, yes please.

  13. avatar
    Majority Will October 1, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

    Debbie:
    Except that Obama’s sister said he was adopted.

    Because “Debbie” said so. Well, there you have it.

  14. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy October 1, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

    And you think she said that because… ?

    Folks here expect a source for claims.

    Debbie:
    Except that Obama’s sister said he was adopted.

  15. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy October 1, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

    Some of the conspiracy theories have Obama in Indonesia longer. Martha Trowbridge, for example, says Obama went to Indonesia at age 2 and lived with President Suharto.

    Atticus Finch: he had lived in Indonesia for a period of only FOUR YEARS so he clearly did not meet the residency requirement to become an Indonesia citizen.

  16. avatar
    Dr Kenneth Noisewater October 1, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

    Debbie: Except that Obama’s sister said he was adopted.

    No she didn’t

  17. avatar
    misha marinsky October 1, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

    Debbie: Except that Obama’s sister said he was adopted.

    I was lying on my futon, and my cat whispered “four legs good; two legs bad.” I haven’t slept well since.

  18. avatar
    Stanislaw October 1, 2012 at 6:36 pm #

    Debbie:
    Except that Obama’s sister said he was adopted.

    If someone’s sister saying something automatically makes it true, then my sister needs to start referring to me as her brother “the billionaire.”

  19. avatar
    LW October 1, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

    Paper: one of the “zingers” he is preparing

    Submitted for my sons:

    “Your face is for hope and change.”

    (Given my sons’ propensity for the genre, it was a true delight to discover that one of the masterworks of cinema, Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress, opens with a “your face” joke.)

  20. avatar
    gorefan October 1, 2012 at 10:33 pm #

    Debbie:
    Except that Obama’s sister said he was adopted.

    This is another birther legend. She was referring to something that someone said to her. She never actually said he was adopted.

  21. avatar
    ZixiOfIx October 2, 2012 at 3:05 am #

    Debbie:
    Except that Obama’s sister said he was adopted.

    Debbie, here’s the problem. First Obama’s sister didn’t say that. That’s like, a hugely massive problem with your story. It’s just not true. There is no proof, and it’s completely made up our of whole cloth.

    But for the sake of argument, let’s say she did say that (again, though, she didn’t).

    Your problem is that even if she’d said it, it doesn’t make it true. It doesn’t make it a conspiracy. It doesn’t make it anything except one person being wrong.

    Birthers like to pretend that the human memory is infallible, and that if people get details wrong on big things, they’re lying.

    Wrong does not equal lying, no matter how much you want it to be true.

    In President Bush’s book, Decision Points, he wrote that as a teenager, his mother (former first lady Barbara Bush) lost a pregnancy. According to GWB, his mother put the remains in a jar and showed them to him, then had him take her to the hospital. He said that seeing that fetus shaped him, and that was the beginning of him being pro-life. Dramatic, right? How could anyone get that wrong? A teenager was shown a fetus by his mother, and that one moment changed his political views profoundly and forever.

    Except, Mrs. Bush is on record as refuting key parts of the story. She said that she didn’t put the fetus in a jar, that their maid did. She said that the maid showed it to George, not herself. She has even said in interviews that he is wrong, and that “memories dim” over time. She’s not mad. She didn’t call her son names. He’s not a liar. She just believes that he’s wrong, because her memory is significantly different. She’s a sensible lady who has lived long enough to know that people can remember things differently.

    We’re left with two greatly different versions of an incredibly dramatic story, one that the President says shaped his world-view from then on out.

    If this was about Obama, Birthers would spin this story far and wide, and before long, it would be the maid’s baby with Obama’s grandfather, or the baby would be Frank Marshall Davis’. It would have been born in Kenya, not miscarried. Whatever it took to make it seem sinister and suspect.

    But the truth is that human memory isn’t perfect, and that even if what you said was true (that Obama’s sister said he was adopted, which she didn’t), that doesn’t make it so. It would make his sister wrong, but it wouldn’t make it a conspiracy. She wouldn’t even have to be a liar. Simply wrong.

    Barbara Bush: Housekeeper put fetus in jar (Washington Post)^

  22. avatar
    Keith October 2, 2012 at 5:02 am #

    ZixiOfIx: But the truth is that human memory isn’t perfect, and that even if what you said was true (that Obama’s sister said he was adopted, which she didn’t), that doesn’t make it so. It would make his sister wrong, but it wouldn’t make it a conspiracy. She wouldn’t even have to be a liar. Simply wrong.

    I had a ‘discussion’ with a poster on ATS a few weeks ago where the poster was swearing up and down that Obama said several times that his father left when he was 2 years old, but the historical records shows it must have been when he was 13 months old. This was evidence of a lifelong series of lies and deception and Obama should be frog marched to prison, etc.

    The poster just couldn’t see the forest for the trees. The important fact wasn’t that Obama was 13 months old or 24 months old, but that his father left when he was very young. His mother raised him as a single mother for much of his childhood, and he was raised by his Grandparents for much of the rest. He enjoyed the attentions of a step-father of maybe 4 years.

    Given that scenario, what does a difference of 11 months mean after 50 years?

  23. avatar
    MattR October 2, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

    But the truth is that human memory isn’t perfect, and that even if what you said was true (that Obama’s sister said he was adopted, which she didn’t), that doesn’t make it so. It would make his sister wrong, but it wouldn’t make it a conspiracy. She wouldn’t even have to be a liar. Simply wrong.

    There were a couple good articles about this around 9/11. Human memory is really not that good, even for “flashbulb” type events like 9/11 or the Kennedy assassination. The only real difference is that people are more convinced that they accurately remember the details of the events, even when they are wrong. One of the earlier and more famous studies was done by Emory professor Ulric Neisser who asked his freshman psychology class about the Challenger explosion the day after it happened and then again three years later. Only 10% of the students matched their previous responses while 25% did not have a single accurate memory of the event. Studies done after 9/11 have shown similar results. The apa has a pretty good summary of that research.

  24. avatar
    ZixiOfIx October 2, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

    Keith: The poster just couldn’t see the forest for the trees. The important fact wasn’t that Obama was 13 months old or 24 months old, but that his father left when he was very young. His mother raised him as a single mother for much of his childhood, and he was raised by his Grandparents for much of the rest. He enjoyed the attentions of a step-father of maybe 4 years.

    Exactly. I want to stress that, below the age of four or so, children remember very little. Anything related to his personal history from the age of 0-2 was almost certainly have been what Obama was told, not what he knows first hand.

  25. avatar
    ZixiOfIx October 2, 2012 at 9:59 pm #

    MattR: There were a couple good articles about this around 9/11. Human memory is really not that good, even for “flashbulb” type events like 9/11 or the Kennedy assassination. The only real difference is that people are more convinced that they accurately remember the details of the events, even when they are wrong.

    Thank you for the links. Anyone who has ever gone through the stress of losing a loved knows how it affects their memory.

    Stress, even good stress (having a baby, for example), affects the brain in many ways, some of which are negative.

    Birthers want and need the sum of human experience to not apply somehow to apply to Obama.

    I am comforted in the knowledge that the stress of all this on them must be awful 😀

  26. avatar
    The Obama Timeline Author October 3, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

    1. Why is the U.S. State Department the final authority on the issue? Wouldn’t the final authority be the government of Indonesia? It is the latter that has the pertinent records!

    2. Obama’s attorney said so, therefore we must believe it? Nixon said he was not a crook. Clinton said he did not have sex with Monica Lewinsky. O.J. Simpson said he didn’t kill Nicole or Ron Brown. Obama said he would cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term.

    Some people will believe anything they are told… which is how Obama got elected in the first place: stupidity and naivete.

  27. avatar
    The Obama Timeline Author October 3, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    I suppose you also believe Obama when he says his Kenyan father taught him to appreciate jazz – a pretty neat feat for someone he essentially never knew, beyond one brief visit at about age 10.

  28. avatar
    gorefan October 3, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

    The Obama Timeline Author: I suppose you also believe Obama when he says his Kenyan father taught him to appreciate jazz

    From his book we know when his father visited him in Hawaii, he took him to a Dave Brubeck concert. He says that this is where he got his appreciation for jazz.

    You may want to review that timeline thingy.

  29. avatar
    gorefan October 3, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

    The Obama Timeline Author:
    Wouldn’t the final authority be the government of Indonesia?

    Some people will believe anything they are told…

    That is certainly true of birhers.

    Under Indonesia law in the 60s he could not have been become a citizen of Indonesia.

  30. avatar
    misha marinsky October 3, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    The Obama Timeline Author: Nixon said he was not a crook. Clinton said he did not have sex with Monica Lewinsky. O.J. Simpson said he didn’t kill Nicole or Ron Brown.

    Iraq has weapons of mass destruction.

    The Obama Timeline Author: Some people will believe anything they are told

    God told me to invade Iraq, Bush tells Palestinian ministers:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2005/10_october/06/bush.shtml

    Some people will believe anything they hear.

  31. avatar
    Thomas Brown October 3, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

    The Obama Timeline Author:
    1. Why is the U.S. State Department the final authority on the issue? Wouldn’t the final authority be the government of Indonesia? It is the latter that has the pertinent records!

    2. Obama’s attorney said so, therefore we must believe it? Nixon said he was not a crook. Clinton said he did not have sex with Monica Lewinsky. O.J. Simpson said he didn’t kill Nicole or Ron Brown. Obama said he would cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term.

    Some people will believe anything they are told… which is how Obama got elected in the first place: stupidity and naivete.

    Right. We’re stupid and naive because we believe the State of Hawaii, the Supreme Court, and the Electoral College, who all say BHO is eligible, while you drooling asshats and feckless losers believe absolutely that the most far-fetched garbage possible, even journalistic errors, is stone-cold truth.

    Man, you guys are better than circus clowns. Keep it up; I can use the laughs.

  32. avatar
    misha marinsky October 3, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

    Thomas Brown: Man, you guys are better than circus clowns.

    Circus clown is a noble profession. Emmett Kelly: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emmett_Kelly

    Denialists, not so much.

  33. avatar
    Zixi of Ix October 3, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

    The Obama Timeline Author:
    1. Why is the U.S. State Department the final authority on the issue? Wouldn’t the final authority be the government of Indonesia? It is the latter that has the pertinent records!

    Only if you are advocating handing national sovereignty and control over to every other nation in the world. The United States determines who is a citizen of our country. Not foreign countries. Why are you so hot to hand over American power to foreign countries? Why do you hate America and want foreign countries to decide our legal matters for us? Why do you want to see the United States weakened? What is your ulterior motive?

    2. Obama’s attorney said so, therefore we must believe it? Nixon said he was not a crook. Clinton said he did not have sex with Monica Lewinsky. O.J. Simpson said he didn’t kill Nicole or Ron Brown. Obama said he would cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term.

    So it’s not about Truth, but about politics and being angry over an African American not being convicted of having killed a white woman? Good to know where you are coming from. Thank you for being so “up front” about such things.

    Some people will believe anything they are told… which is how Obama got elected in the first place: stupidity and naivete.

    Others make up stories out of whole cloth and root for the end of sovereign American rule.

    Obama was elected. You are demanding that we hand over the ability to determine who is a citizen of our nation to another country.

    Obama followed the law. You advocate destroying the law.

    Good to know which side you’re on.

  34. avatar
    misha marinsky October 3, 2012 at 4:09 pm #

    Zixi of Ix: Obama followed the law. You advocate destroying the law.

    Our Constitution holds innocent until proven guilty. The burden of proof is on the plaintiff. Denialists have reversed that: they make an accusation he is guilty, and demand Obama proves he is innocent.

    Denialists are fascists, in the literal meaning of the word.

  35. avatar
    Rickey October 3, 2012 at 5:01 pm #

    The Obama Timeline Author:
    1. Why is the U.S. State Department the final authority on the issue? Wouldn’t the final authority be the government of Indonesia? It is the latter that has the pertinent records!

    So write to the government of Indonesia and demand to see Obama’s citizenship papers. That should work out well for you.

    Also take a moment and read the first response in this thread. Atticus Finch has pointed out that Obama wasn’t old enough and wasn’t in Indonesia long enough to be become a citizen.

    Obama said he would cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term.

    The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office agreed in 2009 that Obama’s budget proposals would cut the deficit in half by the end of Fiscal Yearl 2012. However, those projections assumed that the Bush taxs for the wealthy would expire in 2010, as scheduled. As we know, the Republicans refused to allow that to happen. That helped to keep Federal tax receipts far below what they were projected to be.

    Incidentally, during the 2004 campaign George W. Bush promised to cut the deficit in half by the end of his second term. How did that work out?